The Cubs appear to be open for business and the Braves don’t look like they are giving up.
Chicago, after an 11-game losing streak that appears to have knocked it out of playoff contention at the All-Star break, gave the first real sign it will be sellers. The Cubs traded outfielder Joc Pederson to the Atlanta Braves for Single-A first baseman Bryce Ball, in a deal announced Thursday night.
For the Braves, the 29-year-old Pederson, gives their lineup and outfield a boost after star Ronald Acuna Jr. was lost for the season after an ACL injury. Pederson is hitting .230 with 11 home runs and a .718 OPS in 256 at-bats. Atlanta (44-45) sits four games behind the Mets in the NL East.
This could just be the start of an active few weeks for the Cubs prior to the July 31 trade deadline. Star Kris Bryant, who is set to become a free agent after this season, is among the bigger names in baseball who could be on the move with Chicago (44-46) eight games out in the NL Central.
Bryant is someone the Mets could be interested in acquiring as they look to hold on to first place in the NL East and reach the postseason for the first time since 2016. A Cubs scout was recently seen at a Mets Low-A affiliate game, according to The Athletic.